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How to Make a Palm Tree

Happy Summer Friends! Last Friday was our last day of school and like all of you I'm already thinking about next year. :) I brought home my palm trees because they were getting a little raggedy and they needed a makeover. So I thought I'd take step by step pictures for those of you who want to make one or two...or three!

To start you will need:
an umbrella (I used my husband's golf umbrella because I wanted the tree to be pretty big)...SHHH don't tell him!
carpet roll
approx. 20 paper grocery bags
15x15 piece of plywood
 23x4 piece wood
approx. 5 yards of fabric
hot glue gun
5 yards of fabric
Stiffen stuff spray (optional)


1.  Screw the pieces of wood together as shown.

2.  Place the carpet roll over the piece of wood.  

3.  Open your grocery bags.  

3.  Make a hole in the bottom of the bag.

4.  Working from the top of the bag start folding the bags down toward the bottom.  
5.  After you get the bag rolled all the way down you will need to work the wording toward the inside if it shows. (you are essentially turning the bags wrong side out.)

This is how it should look when you are finished rolling.

6.  Start placing the bags on the carpet roll. 

7.  Keep adding the bags until your carpet roll is completely covered.  

I forgot to take pictures of steps 8 -10.  Sorry!  :(

8.  Strip all of the fabric off of your umbrella.  
9.  Cut palm tree leaves from your fabric.
10.  Place the naked umbrella's handle in the top of your carpet roll.   
11.  Smoosh the top bag down a little so that you have room to work and then one at a time position your palm tree leaves over the spokes of the umbrella and glue in place.

NOTE:  I chose a polka dot fabric because I am doing a Seuss Theme and I thought it looked a little more whimsical (yes, I know I should do Truffula trees but I like my palm trees).  

12.  If desired spray the leaves with Stiffin Stuff to make them a little firmer.
(I don't know why this made me chuckle to myself).  :)

The kitchen is obviously not a good setting for this cutie patootie palm tree.  The pictures do not do it justice at all.  
Here's a picture of my palm tree from last year with our Stretchy the Word snake peeking out at you! honest!  What do you think of the polka dots?


  1. The polka dots are absolutely adorable! This is so cute! Thanks!


  2. Love it!! Thanks for sharing :)


  3. I think the polka dots look great! They add a nice touch of whimsy to your tree and will go perfectly with your theme next year! Happy Memorial Day! :)

  4. Love the polka dots!! Thanks for the step by step process of making the tree!!

  5. LOVE the polka dots!

  6. I LOVE 'em! So cute!! This is genius! I would NEVER have thought of making a tree this way! Thanks for the tutorial!
    Rowdy in Room 300

  7. I totally *heart* the polka dots!!! I made this tree last summer, because I came across it on your blog & followed your directions on how to make it. It was a total hit this year!!! Thanks for all you share. :)
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  8. Polka Dots are my favorite!! ;-) LOVE IT. :-)Robin

  9. Looks so cute! I made a tree last month as part of our Under the Sea art show and it was such a hit! I'm moving it into my classroom soon!

    Ѽ Alessia
    Mrs. Albanese’s Kindergarten Class

  10. Too cute! Thanks for the tutorial and I LOVE polka dots on just about anything. :)


  11. Cute, cute, cute! Those polka dots are adorable. Thanks for sharing!

    A Year of Many Firsts

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I had to delete the first comment, because I had a grammar error. he he he... I made it last summer too. The one thing that I did different was that I used large lawn leaf bags from Big Lots. They were much easier and it only took 4 bags. Check the picture out at The picture is hard to see, as I have it up next to a large cabinet, but it really looks great. I use this tree as our "Explicit Vocabulary Tree". Thanks for this wonderful idea! :)

  13. I think the polka dots are soooo cute! You've inspired me to do this for my room! :)

  14. love it! i really like the polka dots!

  15. Love the polka dots!! Now I have something else to had to my list of to dos this summer (and another project for my granddad to help me with!), I saw on TpT where you are teaching a combo class next year. Can't wait to hear more about it. :)

  16. I love the tree, especially the polka dots. I just may give it a try. I still have seven more days.
    Think of me working hard while you get some well desired rest.

    :) Sue

  17. I love the polka dots! That was such a good idea to give them a little sprucing! This is SUCH creative idea!!

    Creating & Teaching

  18. I love the polka dots! Thanks for sharing how to make one! I never knew how =)

    Kinder Kraziness

  19. Oh I love this!!! I wish I could do fun things like this in my classroom. I can just imagine the lecture I'd get from our custodian haha. They are so strict about what we bring in. We can't have curtains and most chairs (for a reading corner) are not allowed. She had to "double check" to see if I could even have my crate seats. How crazy is that!?! Anyways.... love love love the palm tree. It turned out great!

    Dirty Hands and Lesson Plans

  20. I love your palm tree! Thanks for the step by step directions!

    Delighted in Second

  21. Darling, My Sweet Friend! Polka dots are cute. Are you going to try any truffula trees? I text you another simple idea...


  22. Love the polka dots! I made the cutest Truffula trees for a Lorax bulletin board (turned out to be everyone's favorite). Wish I could share the picture with you. They were inspired by a birthday party idea that I found through Clutter Free Classroom (I think?). They are a Martha Stewart project. They are giant tissue paper flowers cut with points. Wonder if you could do that with fabric? It would probably have to be stiffened somehow.


  23. I think the polka dots are cute. I like the added character this adds to the tree and it will go great with you theme. I might just have to make me some of these trees. Love them.

    My (Not So) Elementary Life

  24. The polka dots look fantastic! :)

  25. I am with everyone else on the polka dots...LOVE THEM!! :-)
    Live Love Laugh Everyday In Kindergarten

  26. Who knew it was that easy??? Makes me wish I had one :) Love the polka dots too!

  27. Love the polka dots...I think I will be making one of these this summer. Thank you.

  28. I have a feeling I am going to see about 5 of those pop up in the Kinder Hall this Fall. :) Our K teachers always start the year with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. The polka dots are fabulous!

  29. hmmm...think that'll go with my pirate theme for next year??? :)

    ♥ Jen
    The Teacher's Cauldron

  30. I think polka dots make everything cuter!!! Love it!

  31. Looks darling! I'm a new blogger and I love your blog!


  32. I love the polka dots! I made your tree last year and it was a BIG hit in my classroom! You make me look GOOODDD!!!!
    Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

  33. In LOVE WITH THE POLKA DOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. What teacher doesn't love polka dots? Honestly! Love it! This post reminds me of a Pioneer Woman cooking blog post with photos through every step of the way EXCEPT instead of food eye candy it is palm tree cute teacher eye candy. Hehehehehe Stiffin Stuff. That's funny.

    Sprinkle Teaching Magic

  35. is the great website and it is really a city way to start any day along with the freebies finished your door.

  36. Polka dots are awesome! I am returning to kindergarten this year...after teaching 5th for four years. I am soooo excited to set up my room. I had planned to do a Dr. Seuss theme for next year too! I can't wait to see your ideas!!!!! Thanks again for sharing!

  37. I found a friends umbrella thrown away in the garbage and took it out to use for my tree. One of the sides was bent. It will be perfect! Also, I used brown lunch sacks and cut off the bottom. Looks like it could be a little less work and still gives that scrunchy effect.

  38. I wrapped by carpet roll with burlap fabric from a fabric store. I bought a lime green umbrella and covered it with leaves made out of two shades of felt. I bought the pre-cut felt pieces sguares from Hobby Lobby and traced the palm leaves on them and cut them out my self. Once I had all the leaves cut out, I hot glued them onto the unbrella alternating the two shades. I let them hang over about 6-8 inches. Once I had the tree finished, I hot glued foam letters and number on the leaves and down the tree trunk. I found my green umbrella at the Dollar General store. I've had it for three years now and it has held up wonderfully. I also covered the wood base with burlap as well.

  39. I love the polka dots. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I got a carpet roll last year and never made my tree. Definitely making the tree this summer. Can't wait to see it in my classroom! Thanks again!!!


  40. LOVE the poka dots!!!! I really want to make one of these for my classroom this year. It is so adorable.

  41. i'm so glad I found this! We are making trees for our production - this is a much easier way of doing it than most I have looked at. I LOVE the great polka dots - will probably make ours out of gold, I think - they are outside a palace. Thaanks Hutt Intermediate School in Wellington, New Zealand

  42. I can't believe I missed this post. I need to find a carpet roll!

    Terri Izatt

  43. Your tree looks amazing, and I love the polka dots! Using the paper bags is genius!

  44. Mrs. Jump! Your tree is adorable. Thank you so much for the instructions, I did a blog post on the one in my room. Since I teach SPED kiddos this tree is not only adorable, but it is the perfect divider for my students where they are able to focus at each table. :)




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